Adult and Family Programs

Check out the lists below to see our upcoming adult and family programs. Click on the name of the program to see more details and register.

Ongoing Events

Moonlight Hikes – Join us on a night hike through the woods. On the trails of the Mississippi Sanctuary and Olin Nature Preserve the terrain is light to moderate (may include some elevation change) and is appropriate for families. You can expect the hike to be about 2 miles, and will include stops along the way. Guides choose routes based on the group and do not pick the route until the night of the hike. $5 per non-member adult, children 15 and under are free and advanced registration is required. Members are free. 

Telescope Nights – Have an old telescope laying around, but never use it?  Always wanted to look at the universe through a telescope, but don’t own one?  You are in luck! Come on out to the Talahi Lodge on the scheduled dates and we will have some set up.  You can also bring your own and we can help you use it.  We will talk about how telescopes work and look at the moon and other night sky objects. Limited Space available, registration required. Free for members, $5 for non-members. 

Heartland Prairie Hike – Join us at Heartland Prairie at Gordon Moore Park in Alton for these bimonthly hikes, held on every second and fourth Tuesday, April through October. These walks are free and open to the public. Walks will focus on identifying native plants and birds. We will discuss the plants in our newer sections at the observation deck until approximately 6:00 p.m. so if you are running late, you can still meet us in the front section of the prairie. Be sure to wear comfortable shoes and bring water, binoculars and a plant identification book.

Rotating Programs

Pre-registration required for the events below. Click on the title of the event to go to the registration page.

Yoga + Hike – Yoga Buzz is headed to the Nature Institute for a 60-minute hike in nature before connecting more in a 60-minute yoga practice with a view of the Mississippi River. Then, stick around for a coffee from local shop Germania Brew Haus. Mark your calendar and grab your hiking boots along with your mat for a nature-centric Saturday morning outing! $35/non-member, $30/member. This event takes place on October 23rd from 8 – 10 am. 

Birding 101 – This beginner – friendly workshop will go over the basics of birding. Learn common species, their calls, and the best ways to identify them. You’ll also learn a bit about citizen science tools to help you identify birds. Binoculars are provided during the program. Prepare for roughly 1 – 2 miles of hiking on easy to moderate terrain. Free for members, $5/non-members. This event takes place on November 12th from 9 – 11 am. 

Nature Journaling Workshop – Natural journaling provides a relaxing way to more intricately observe the outdoors. Become more appreciative of nature, get better at identifying wildlife and plants, and receive the mental health benefits of being outside. Nature journaling is not just a writing journal — it’s a place to create scientific drawings, note observations, and ask questions. Journals are included in the registration cost. $13/member, $16/non-member. This event takes place on November 3rd from 5 – 6:30 pm.